December 8, 2022

Signs you are taking too much levothyroxine and when to know if you need to lower your dose. It’s quite common for thyroid patients to accidentally take TOO much levothyroxine.

Hey guys dr childs here today we’re going to be talking about how to tell if you are taking too much level thyroxine if you don’t know level thyroxine is a thyroid medication in fact it is the most commonly prescribed thyroid medication and if you have low thyroid which is what it’s prescribed for you need to be taking the exact right amount and if you’re not

Taking the right amount meaning you’re taking too much or too little you’ll experience symptoms now the symptoms you experience if you’re taking too much are pretty much the exact opposite of those symptoms that you would experience if you’re taking too little and while most people are definitely taking too little like in general if we looked at all the people

Who have thyroid conditions most people are not taking enough there are some people who still take too much and that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about today so if you don’t know me i’m dr childs i’m an internist i specialize in treating patients with thyroid conditions helping people with hormone imbalances and of course helping people lose weight

But today is about the thyroid so let’s talk about that again these are the symptoms that you might experience if your levothyroxine dose is simply too high okay so meaning you’re taking too much you may be on the right medication meaning level thyroxine may be right for you although that isn’t always true i have tons of videos explaining why other wide level

Thyroxine may not be right why it doesn’t work for most people and so on but there are some people in which it will work provided they’re taking the right dose so this is what happens these are the side effects you might experience if your dose is simply too high which would indicate by the way that you need to reduce it the first non-specific symptom would be

Irritability okay so taking too much thyroid hormone can definitely make you a little bit irritated thyroid hormone is really a goldilocks hormone in the body you don’t want too much you don’t want too little you need it just right so if you notice that it’s too low or too high you can start to get irritable now irritability tends to be more associated with the

Higher side of things but there are some people who can experience if their dose is too low we’re including it here for completeness but it is it really a non-specific type symptom okay so you can’t just look at irritability and determine if your dose is high or low based off that alone another ex symptom that you may start to experience is hair loss okay now

Hair loss can also occur with low if your dose is too low but the hair loss that occurs if your dose is too high tends to be a little bit different so you tend to start seeing the hair become brittle and you see it start to break okay so if your hair is just falling right if it’s just falling out like when you’re in the shower and you’re showing your hair or

Shampooing your hair and it comes out you know clumps and a lot of extra hair and excess in your hands that’s more of the low thyroid side of hair loss that you can experience but if your hair starts to break and it’s no longer retains its sort of texture or the or even the color or the style that it used to it becomes brittle and it starts to break and crack

Not just at the ends but you know in the middle of the shaft of the hair that’s more of the hair loss that tends to occur in people who have too much thyroid hormone which they can get from level thyroxine itself i should also point out here that hair loss is a little bit tricky because level thyroxine itself can cause hair loss independent of whatever the amount

That you’re taking so it can cause hair loss by itself independent of whether your dose is too high or too low but if your dose is too high you’re going to experience these side effects associated with the hair loss itself so i know perhaps a little bit confusing and hair loss often can be but that tends to be what you experience when it’s too high the next one on

The list is anxiety so people who have too much thyroid hormone in their body tend to get amped up right they they actually have fatigue which is counterintuitive but they have sort of a jittery sensation a sort of anxious predisposition or disposition they can also be prone to panic attacks so having too much thyroid hormone can trigger these panic attacks and

So anxiety tends to be more closely associated with taking too much thyroid hormone and depression or having you know depressed thoughts slow thoughts brain fog that sort of thing tends to be associated with having a low dose another one is insomnia so if your dose is too high you’re going to have trouble sleeping okay so it kind of goes up to what i was saying

Previously when you’re really amped up and you have this sort of nervous energy which is i think probably a good way to to describe it here because you’re nervous because it’s anxiety and it’s it’s kind of a weird sense of energy but it’s like a fatiguing energy it’s not like you’re jumping out of bed ready to get you know tackle the world it’s a different type

Of uh jittery sort of nervous energy and that sort of nervous energy can lead to insomnia so you have a hard time calming down the mind your body just doesn’t really relax your heart rate may stay elevated which we’ll talk about in a little bit and all of these problems sort of contribute to the inability to fall asleep so insomnia is definitely a side effect

Associated with having too much thyroid hormone or too much level thyroxine another one would be muscle weakness again this like irritability is very non-specific and it can also be associated with a low dose so don’t live and die by the muscle weakness or the irritability but you should be aware that that an excessive dose of level hyroxine can cause some

Weakness the next one is fertility issues so this again can can be caused with or caused by having too little thyroid hormone meaning your level of thyroxine dose is insufficient or having too much now women who tend to have fertility issues who are who are taking too much level of thyroxine tend to have rapid cycles or rapid menstrual cycles okay so if you have

A hypothyroidism or your thyroid is slow you may have like a 40-day cycle okay now if you have too much level of thyroxine you may that may go all the way down to a 20-day cycle so it’s a rapid cycling but it doesn’t really allow for normal ovulation the hormone cycles don’t reach their peaks that they should uh they’re not declining at the the rates that they

Should and so on so it really interferes with the estrogen and progesterone and those menstrual cycles themselves and it accelerates the cycle so if you have noticed let’s say you know for a sake of argument you have a normally you have a 30-day cycle and you started to start or and you started level tyroxin and you noticed that your cycle started to go for you

Know instead of 30 days it’s 28 days then 25 days and 22 days that is the sort of uh that’s an indication that your dose may be too high and it’s impacting your menstrual cycle which in turn will impact your ability um for conception right your fertility all right so the next one is a rapid heart rate this one is very common and this is probably the first thing

That you’ll experience now what’s interesting is you may not even notice your heart rate is rapid so whenever i have patients take medicaid thyroid medications especially medications that contain t3 i always have them take a resting heart rate i like to just know what it know what it is the first thing in the morning right when they wake up it’s actually really

Helpful if you have a tracking device so if you have like an apple watch or a fitbit or something like that there’s lots of them out nowadays but if you can just track your heart rate over time you can actually see what happens to it as you start your thyroid medication and is it going up is it going down is it staying the same and this the the change or not in

Your heart rate over time can help you understand how well your thyroid how well your body is using the medication that you’re taking in this case we’re talking about level of thyroxine but this applies to all thyroid medications as well now if you’re taking too much thyroid medication you’ll know you’ll notice that that heart rate you know starts to go up and

Becomes elevated and it’ll stay elevated proportional to the dose that you’re taking now you really want your heart rate somewhere between 60 and 70 in the resting state and once it starts getting to 80 to 90 and even higher that’s when you really have to look at your thyroid medication dose and determine if it’s too high because you really don’t want a resting

Heart rate that is that high just at rest right i’m talking about you waking up first thing out of bed you’re not getting up and doing jumpy jacks you’re just sitting up in bed and checking your heart rate and it should not be you know 92 93 that’s just not where it should be it should be almost a low it’s as low as it’s going to be for the entire day first thing

In the morning before you get up and you know do things so rapid heart rate can be associated with and often is associated with um excess level thyroxine and is usually you know among the first signs that you may experience the next one would be palpitations now these do not go unnoticed everybody and in fact if you ever had palpitations leave a comment below

Because these can be very uh freaky to a patient when they experience them it feels like your your heart is beating out of your chest all right and it it i don’t think it hurts necessarily that’s not how it’s described but it’s just the sensation that that your heart is beating now palpitations by themselves are not necessarily concerning okay if you just have

Palpitations it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your heart um or anything like that okay so you’re not having a heart attack or anything like that but like i said they’re very concerning to patients so they get freaked out about them the palpitation is just that though it is just the sensation that your heart is beating now what’s interesting is you might

You might think that because you’re having a palpitation that automatically means your heart rate is going too quickly that is not the case in fact most of the time when i say hey if someone tells me they have heart palpitations i’ll say okay let’s check your resting heart and see where it’s at they’ll check it and it’ll be 72 right or something like that right 74

Or 75 whatever but the point is they’re they’re feeling the sensation of their heart beating but their heart rate is not elevated so it’s it’s completely fine but it’s completely fine in the sense that it’s not dangerous but it can be an indication that your your level thyroxine dose is too high okay so keep that in mind there are there is a difference between the

Two next up would be diarrhea or just loose stools in general okay so it kind of depends on what your gastrointestinal function is at baseline you know do you tend to run more constipated or you know having more loose stools you kind of have to figure out where you fit on that spectrum but what happens is as you take more level thyroxine as the dose of levothyroxine

Increases so too will the kinetics of your bowels okay and what that means is that they’re going to move and move more quickly that’s an easier way to put it so the more the thyroid hormone you take the faster your bowels move and the decreased amount of time that food stays in your bowels which means it increases your basically risk of developing diarrhea okay

So it’s proportional to the dose the higher the dose the more likely you are to get from loose stools all the way up to diarrhea you know you can go on the spectrum from constipation all the way to diarrhea it just sort of depends on the person but realize that thyroid hormone speeds up the gut and it speeds up your bowel movements and then last one and this is

Another one which is is very obvious and this is definitely a telltale sign of having too much level of thyroxine and that is heat intolerance so if you are taking levothyroxine and you feel like you’re flushing or you feel like you’re sweating you feel like you’re almost having hot flashes those sort of things are all associated with heat intolerance in fact

Another good way to tell this is if you are normally cold all the time and you have a heater blow on your face you just you got to get away from it right that’s that heat intolerance you can’t stand the sensation of having heat on your body now most of you listening to this will probably say i love the heat i need to be under the heat that’s an indication you need

More thyroid hormone your thyroid hormone dose is too low and your thyroid medication dose if you’re taking level thyroxine is not high enough but the opposite is true for those people who take too much levothyroxin they have heat intolerance they cannot stand to be in a heated environment at all they can’t stand hot air blowing on their face on their body or

Anything like that so that would be one of the final symptoms so these are all the symptoms and side effects associated with taking too much level thyroxine which again is the most common thyroid medication used to treat all low thyroid conditions including hypothyroidism hashimoto’s thyroiditis those people who have thyroidectomies and also those people who are

Post-radioactive iodine ablation so um that’s all i have for you right now but i want to hear from you guys have you experienced any of these symptoms do you feel that your thyroid dose is too high do you feel that your thyroid dose is too low are you experiencing these symptoms right here or are you experiencing um the exact opposite which would indicate that

Your dose is too low let me know i want to hear about your comments i want to hear about your experience and if anything is confusing here leave a comment below and i’ll do my best to get back to you if you haven’t already make sure that you also download my free thyroid pdf resources i have tons of information all like this all designed to help thyroid patients

Feel better get on the right supplements get on the right medications change their diet you know you name it etc so that’s all i have for you guys today and otherwise i’ll see you in the next one

Transcribed from video
Signs You Are Taking Too Much Levothyroxine (When to LOWER Your Dose) By Dr. Westin Childs